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Delhi Assembly Passes State GST Bill, Wants Maximum Slab of 10%

PTI

Updated: May 31, 2017, 11:45 PM IST
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Delhi Assembly Passes State GST Bill, Wants Maximum Slab of 10%
Proceedings in the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday.

New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly on Wednesday passed the state Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pitched for capping the tax rate at a maximum of 10 percent.

A special session of the Assembly cleared the bill with voice vote after an extensive discussion and also adopted a resolution opposing proposed "higher tax slabs" in the GST.

Parliament had on April 6 passed four legislations to pave the way for nationwide roll-out of the GST from July 1.

Talking to reporters outside the Assembly, Kejriwal said under the GST regime, tax slabs should be 10 percent, 5 percent each for the Centre and the states, claiming that higher tax slabs may trigger inflation.

"GST is the biggest tax reform and in principle we all are with it. But we have concerns pertaining to its implementation. We believe higher tax slabs may trigger inflation and it will not be good for the country. "The more the tax rate, the less the compliance. Lower tax slabs would lead to more tax collection. We brought down tax rate on many items in Delhi and reaped benefits," Kejriwal said.

The GST Council has approved four-tier tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent plus an additional cess on demerit goods like luxury cars, aerated drinks and tobacco products. The resolution, moved by AAP MLA Vishesh Ravi, stated that this House is in support of GST in principle but this House opposes the way in which tax rates of 18 & 28 percent in GST Council meetings.

"This House is of the view that higher tax rates never return higher collections to government exchequer, instead higher tax rates lead to inflation and tax evasion. "This House proposes that GST rates on any Good or Service should not be more than 10 per cent," the resolution stated.

Replying to the discussion on the GST, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said although the new tax reform is good for the entire country, proposed higher tax slabs in the new tax law should be brought down.

Hitting out at the BJP, Sisodia said that when the Congress-led UPA was in power, it had opposed the GST then, but it is now supporting the new tax legislation when the saffron party is in the power.

"GST has been introduced after abolishing 17 different taxes which is good for traders and consumers in the country. We support the new move which is in favour of the people of country. We are not like the BJP," Sisodia, who also holds finance portfolio, said.

Attacking the government, Opposition Leader Vijender Gupta said that there is no logic in expressing dissent on these issues (higher tax slabs), adding that it reflects double speak of the government.

"Delhi government did not protect the interest of traders in the GST Council. Delhi traders will now have to bear increased taxation under GST. The Deputy Chief Minister should have brought it to the notice of the GST Council and protected the interest of traders," Gupta said.

ALSO READ | GST Bill Passed in Rajya Sabha: Five Things to Know About the Radical Tax Plan

First Published: May 31, 2017, 10:40 PM IST
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